DMV News Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFriday, September 2, 2011
Parents Encouraged to Stress Pedestrian Safety to Students
Motorists Reminded of School Bus Laws
RICHMOND - Parents, teachers and other adults are urged this time of year to remind children about safety lessons for walking or riding the bus to school.
"We must ensure that school children wait in a safe place at the bus stop, and that they enter and exit the bus environment safely," said Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "I encourage all parents to teach and reinforce to children bus safety rules so they become habits."
Statistics in Virginia show that school buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road, and that most school bus incidents happen off the bus, not on the bus. In 2010 in Virginia, 76 pedestrians were killed and 1,585 were injured. Ten of those injured were getting on or off school buses.
With children everywhere waiting for, boarding and exiting school buses this time of year, Virginia's back-to-school rules of the road also must be reinforced to drivers. Passing a school bus is prohibited when it is stopped to load or unload passengers, unless a physical barrier or unpaved median separates the traffic going in either direction.
Here are some additional back-to school safety reminders for drivers:
- Pedestrians always have the right-of-way. When encountering a pedestrian, motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
- Yellow flashing lights on a school bus mean the bus is preparing to stop and load or unload children. Motorists need to slow down and prepare to stop.
- Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the school bus is stopped and children are boarding or exiting the bus. Motorists must come to a complete stop a safe distance from the bus and wait until the bus begins moving before they start driving again.
- Drivers are required to travel 25 mph in a school zone when indicated by a sign or signal.
In 2010 in Virginia there were 572 school bus crashes and 248 school bus occupants injured. In 59 percent, or 346 of the school bus crashes, the school bus driver was found not to be at fault.